Communicative Strategy in a Formal Model of Dispute
Mare Koit
Institute of Computer Science, University of Tartu, J. Liivi 2, Tartu, Estonia
Keywords: Dispute, Model, Argument, Communicative Strategy, Communicative Space.
Abstract: We study human-human dialogues in a natural language where the communicative goal of the initiator of
dialogue is to bring the partner to a decision to do a certain action. If the partner does not accept the goal
then dispute will start. Arguments for and against of doing the action will be presented by the participants
and finally, one of them wins and another loses the dispute. We present a formal model of dispute which
includes a model of argument. We discuss involvement of the notion of communicative strategy in the
model. A communicative strategy is considered as an algorithm used by a participant for achieving his or
her communicative goal. A communicative strategy determines also how a participant is moving in
‘communicative space’ during interaction. Communicative space is characterized by a number of
coordinates (e.g. social distance between participants, intensity of communication, etc.). A limited version
of the model of dispute is implemented on the computer.
There are two kinds of dialogues which deal with
argumentation: disputes and negotiations (Walton
and Krabbe, 1995). Each dialogue consists of a
sequence of dialogue acts that follow certain patterns
of interaction. When initiating dispute, ”a speaker
asserts a proposition expecting to be asked for
reasons/arguments in support of it and being
prepared to present and defend them” (Wagner,
1998). The initiator of dispute (the proponent) wins
the dispute if the opponent has to accept the initial
assertion. On the contrary, the opponent wins if the
proponent has to withdraw.
When making a proposal or assertion in
negotiation, the proponent, differently as compared
with dispute, has to be prepared to receive critiques
or counterproposals and react to them. “Negotiation
is a form of interaction in which a group of agents
with conflicting interests and a desire to cooperate
try to come to a mutually acceptable agreement on
the division of scarce resources” (Rahwan et al.,
2004). Each party tries to gain an advantage for
themselves. Negotiation is intended to aim at
Many researchers have been modelling
negotiation on the computer and investigating
formalization of argument. Good overviews of the
area can be found e.g. in (Chesñevar et al., 2000;
Prakken and Vreeswijk, 2002; Besnard and Hunter,
We study human-human dialogues in a natural
language between two participants where the
initiator (A) makes a proposal to the partner (B) to
do an action (D) and argues for positive outcomes of
doing D. If B refuses to do D then the participants
have been involved into dispute. Both parties can
present their arguments and counterarguments and
finally, whether A wins, i.e. achieves B’s decision
“do D”, or A loses, i.e. has to withdraw.
We have worked out and implemented on the
computer a formal model of dispute (Koit and Õim,
2014a). In the current paper, we will further develop
the model and concentrate on the ways how
participants can achieve their communicative goals –
communicative strategies. We also introduce the
notion of communicative space. When
communicating, the participants are ‘moving’ in a
communicative space from one ‘point’ to another
and depending on their locations, they choose their
communicative strategies.
The paper has the following structure. In section
2 we introduce our model of dispute including the
notions of communicative strategy and
communicative space. In section 3 we apply the
model to human-human disputes in a natural
language. We investigate a dispute between a sales
clerk of an educational company and a customer
who is supposed to take a training course offered by
the clerk. We study the strategies that the
Koit M..
Communicative Strategy in a Formal Model of Dispute.
DOI: 10.5220/0005274904890496
In Proceedings of the International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART-2015), pages 489-496
ISBN: 978-989-758-074-1
2015 SCITEPRESS (Science and Technology Publications, Lda.)
participants implement for achieving their opposite
communicative goals and their movement in
communicative space. Section 4 discusses the
analysed dispute and proposes a communicative
strategy that can be effective in a computer system
for argumentation. In section 5 we draw conclusions.
2.1 Components of the Model
Let us consider a dialogue between two participants
A and B (humans or artificial agents) in a natural
language (Koit and Õim, 2013; 2014b). Let the
communicative goal of A be “B decides to do the
action D”. A has a partner model at his disposal – an
image about B – which gives him an opportunity to
believe that B will agree to do the action. In
constructing his first turn, A plans the dialogue acts
(e.g. proposal, request, etc. depending on his partner
model) and determines their verbal form (i.e. the
utterances). The partner B interprets A’s turn and
generating her response, she triggers a reasoning
procedure in her mind in order to make a decision –
to do D or not. In the reasoning process, B weighs
her resources, positive and negative outcomes of
doing D and finally, she makes a decision. Then she
in her turn plans the dialogue acts (e.g. agreement,
refusal, refusal with argument, etc.) and their verbal
form in order to inform A about her decision. If B
agrees to do D then the dialogue finishes (A has
reached his communicative goal). If B’s response is
refusal then A must change his partner model (which
did not correspond to the reality because A supposed
that B will agree to do D) and he has to find out new
arguments to convince B to make the decision.
B can add arguments to her refusal. These
(counter)arguments give information to A about the
reasoning process that brought B to the (negative)
Then A has to find a new argument for doing D
by B and the process continues in a similar way.
2.1.1 Reasoning Model
Our reasoning model consists of two parts: (1) a
model of human motivational sphere; (2) reasoning
procedures (Koit and Õim, 2014b). In the
motivational sphere of a reasoning person some
basic factors can be found that regulate reasoning
about doing an action D. We call these factors
WISH-, NEEDED- and MUST-determinants,
respectively. First, a subject has a wish to do D if the
pleasant aspects of D outweigh the unpleasant ones;
second, doing D is needed for the subject if the
useful aspects of D outweigh the harmful ones; and
third, a subject must to do D if not doing implies
some punishment.
We represent the model of motivational sphere
of a subject by the following vector of ‘weights’
(with numerical values of its components):
w = (w(resources), w(pleasant),
w(unpleasant), w(useful), w(harmful),
w(obligatory), w(prohibited),
w(punishment-do), w(punishment-not)).
In the description, w(pleasant), etc. mean the
weight of pleasant, etc. aspects of D; w(punishment-
do) – weight of punishment for doing D if it is
prohibited, and w(punishment-not) – weight of
punishment for not doing D if it is obligatory. Here
w(resources) = 1, if subject has the resources
necessary to do D (otherwise 0, i.e. we suppose that
all the needed resources either exist or not);
w(obligatory) = 1, if D is obligatory for the
reasoning subject (otherwise 0); w(prohibited) = 1, if
D is prohibited (otherwise 0). The values of other
weights can be non-negative natural numbers.
Although in reality people do not operate with
numbers but use words for characterising different
aspects of an action (e.g. extremely useful, not much
useful, neither useful nor harmful, etc.), the
existence of certain scales also in human everyday
reasoning is apparent.
The second part of the reasoning model consists
of reasoning procedures that supposedly regulate
human action-oriented reasoning. A reasoning
procedure depends on the determinant which
triggers it (in our model, WISH, NEEDED or
MUST). Every reasoning procedure represents steps
that the subject goes through in his/her reasoning
process; these consist in computing and comparing
the summarized weights of different aspects of D;
and the result is the decision: to do D or not (Koit
and Õim, 2013).
We use two different vectors of weights in our
model of dispute: w
(B’s idiosyncratic model which
represents B’s actual evaluations of D’s aspects) and
(the partner model – A’s beliefs concerning B’s
2.1.2 Communicative Space
Communication between two participants can be
different: collaborative or confrontational, polite or
impolite, friendly or unfriendly, etc. Moreover, a
dialogue which has started violently can finish
peacefully if the participants achieve a compromise,
therefore, the character of communication can
Healey et al. (2008) declare that “there are
important differences in the quality of human
interaction – in degrees of interpersonal, as opposed
to physical, closeness – that are important for the
organization of human activities and, consequently,
for design”. They suppose that the concept of
communication space provides a useful approach to
thinking about the basic organization of human
interaction (see also Brown and Levinson, 1999).
We can imagine ‘communicative space’ where
the participants are ‘moving’ from one ‘point’ to
another. Communicative space can be represented as
an n-dimensional space (n > 0) where the different
coordinates characterize the different features of
communication. We are able to specify at least the
following features: social distance between
participants (on the scale from near to far, or, in
other words, from familiar to remote), cooperation
(from collaborative to confrontational), politeness
(from polite to impolite), personality (from personal
to impersonal), modality (from friendly to hostile),
intensity (from peaceful to vehement). We suppose
that just as in the case of human motivational sphere,
people have an intuitive ‘theory’ of these
The values of the coordinates can be expressed
by specific words like in case of pleasant, useful,
etc. aspects of an action D. Instead, we use
numerical values as approximations in our model
and represent the values of coordinates of the
communicative space as -1, 0 or +1. For example,
the value -1 on the scale of social distance means
that the participant is “far” from his/her partner. The
value 0 marks “neutral” and the value +1 “near”
social distance. In the same time, the partner when
communicating can express a different social
distance (e.g. “neutral” instead of “far”), i.e. it is
A feature vector can be assigned to each
utterance of a dialogue that determines the point in
the communicative space where the author of the
utterance is just located. In the following example
(start of a phone call), the friends Siiri and Marju are
located in the same communication point which can
be represented by the vector (+1,+1,+1,+1,+1,+1),
i.e. the social distance is “near”, interaction is
“cooperative”, “polite”, “personal”, “friendly”, and
Siiri: Marju?
Marju: Ciao.
2.1.3 Communicative Strategies and Tactics
A communicative strategy is an algorithm used by a
participant for achieving his/her goal in the
interaction (Fig.1; Koit and Õim, 2014b).
1) Choose an initial communication
point in the communicative space.
2) Choose communicative tactics.
3) Implement the tactics to generate an
utterance: inform the partner of the
communicative goal (agreeing to do an
action D).
4) Did the partner agree to do D? If
yes then finish (the communicative goal
has been achieved).
5) Did the partner postpone the
decision? If yes then finish (the
communicative goal has not been
achieved but can be achieved in the
6) Give up? If yes then finish (the
communicative goal has not been
7) Change the point in the
communicative space? If yes then choose
a new point.
8) Change the communicative tactics? If
yes then choose new tactics.
9) Implement the tactics to generate an
utterance (argument).
10)Go to 4.
Figure 1: Communicative strategy of the initiator of
The initiator A can realize his communicative
strategy in different ways: entice, persuade or
threaten the partner B to do D (respectively, stress
pleasantness or usefulness of D or punishment for
not doing D if it is obligatory). We call these ways
of realization of a communicative strategy
communicative tactics.
The partner B uses a similar communicative
strategy. The only difference is that B does not have
initiative at the beginning of the dialogue and her
communicative goal is opposite as compared with
A’s one: “do not do D”. Similarly, B can use various
communicative tactics realizing her communicative
strategy, e.g. defence or attack. In the last case, she
takes the initiative and proposes arguments against
doing D trying to turn off A’s arguments for doing
the action.
2.2 The Structure of Dispute
As we suppose, A and B have contradictory goals
when starting interaction (dispute). A’s
communicative goal is “B will do D”, B’s goal is “B
will not do D”. We suppose in our model that both A
and B can use a common set of reasoning
algorithms. We also suppose that both A and B have
fixed sets of dialogue acts and corresponding
utterances which are classified semantically, for
example, P
for stressing pleasantness
of D, P
for downgrading
harmfulness, etc. for A and P
, etc. for B.
Starting a dispute, A fixes a partner model w
and determines the communicative tactics T which
he will use, i.e. he accordingly fixes a reasoning
algorithm R which he will try to trigger in B’s mind.
B has her own model of motivational spherew
She determines a reasoning procedure R
which she
will use in order to make a decision about doing D.
The general structure of As argument is as
follows (cf. Besnard and Hunter, 2008; Koit and
Õim, 2014a):
<{R, T, w
, proposition
}, claim
is the reasoning algorithm which A is trying to
trigger in B,
T is the communicative tactics used,
= (w
(resources), w
(pleasant), w
(unpleasant), w
(useful), w
(obligatory), w
(punishment-do), w
(punishment-not)) is
the current partner model (at time i),
denotes the utterance chosen by A in
order to influence one of the weights in the
partner model, after what R will supposedly give
B’s positive decision (do D) on the changed
model w
(at time i+1); its weight is
= “B decides to do D“ (A’s
communicative goal).
The structure of B’s (counter)argument is
analogous, with the difference that w
is used
instead of w
and claim
is “B does not do D” (i.e.
B’s communicative goal).
In dispute, only propositions incorporated in
arguments are explicitely presented by participants,
the other components of arguments are implicit.
The general structure of dispute is given in Fig. 2
(the dialogue acts in parentheses can be missed).
Both A and B can indicate that the finishing
conditions are fulfilled: (1) the communicative goal
is already achieved, (2) give up regardless of having
new arguments, (3) there are no arguments to
continue the fixed tactics but no new tactics will be
chosen regardless of having some tactics not
implemented so far, (4) all the tactics are already
implemented and all the possible arguments are used
without achieving the communicative goal.
A: proposal (+ argument(s))
B: question
A: answer/giving information
B: refusal (+ argument(s))
A: question
B: answer/giving information
A: argument(s)
UNTIL finishing conditions are fulfilled
Figure 2: Structure of dispute.
If B gives up then she makes the decision to do D
and A has achieved his communicative goal (A wins
and B loses the dispute). If A gives up then he does
not achieve his communicative goal and B will not
do D (A loses and B wins). If B postpones her
decision at the end of dialogue then there are neither
winners nor losers.
Questions are asked by participants in order to
make choices among different propositions that can
be used in argumentation.
We have implemented the model of dispute as a
computer program, which, as we believe, can be
used for training argumentation skills (Koit and
Õim, 2014b). The user who plays the role of B
interacts with the computer (A) in written Estonian,
either choosing ready-made sentences as
counterarguments against performing the action
proposed by A or putting in free texts. In the last
case, cue words are used by the computer in order to
understand user sentences. The computer has ready-
made sentences for stressing or downgrading the
values of different aspects of the proposed action
depending on the user model. So far, we have not
used communicative space in the implementation
and did not consider movement of participants from
one communication point to another during
In this section, we apply the introduced model to
actual human-human disputes. Our special interest is
to study communicative strategies used by
participants for achieving their communicative goals
and the communicative space where they are moving
during interaction.
We have analysed a sub-corpus of 52
telemarketing calls of the Estonian dialogue corpus
(Hennoste et al., 2008). The calls are recorded in
authentic situations and transcribed using the
transcription of Conversation Analysis (Hutchby and
Wooffitt, 1998). In the dialogues, sales clerks of an
educational company (which changed name is
Tiritamm) are calling to potential customers (who
are managers or personnel officers of other
institutions). Sales clerks offer training courses
(language, marketing, business training, etc.) for
employees of these institutions.
The communicative goal of a sales clerk (A) is
that the customer (B) will decide to buy a training
course (the action D). The communicative goal of B
is usually opposite: do not take the course because it
spends time and money (although the courses will
still be useful for B). Therefore, the participants are
involved into dispute.
Typically, a lot of calls are needed before a
customer makes her final decision. In our analysed
sub-corpus, the calls belong to the beginning period
of negotiations. This is the reason why the customers
mostly postpone their decisions and there are no
winners or losers in the disputes. The final decision
(to take a course or not) has been made only in seven
A telemarketing call like all institutional calls
has two conventional parts at the beginning and at
the end, respectively – greeting and leave-taking.
Negotiation takes place and a decision will be made
in the main part of a call. Several phases can be
differentiated in the main part (Koit, 2014): (1)
openingA introduces himself and his educational
company and makes sure that B is the requested
person who is responsible for education of the
employees of her institution, (2) finding out B’s
needs where A asks several questions about B’s
institution and collects information from B’s
answers, (3) argumentation for and against of a
training course, (4) B’s decision. The phases (2) and
(3) can alternate or (2) can miss if the participants
have previously been in contact and A already has
sufficient knowledge about B’s institution.
Opening a dialogue, A determines an initial point
in communicative space: as an official person, he
typically chooses a neutral social distance (value 0
on the scale [-1, +1], collaborative and polite
interaction (values +1), neutral personality, modality
and intensity (all values 0).
In the case if the same participants have already
had previous conversations, A can choose a shorter
social distance (+1) and greater personality (+1). In
the following example, A moves away from the
neutral, official position and is interested in B’s
A: mt (0.2) kuidas on elu ´vahepeal
läinud, kõik kenad ´reisid on
´seljataha [jäänud.]
How have you been doing in the meanwhile, have you
past all the nice trips?
During a dialogue, A typically stands in the
initially fixed communication point while B can
change the value of any coordinate of
communicative space. A implements the
communicative tactics of persuasion indicating and
stressing usefulness of the offered course for B. The
other possible tactics (enticement, threatening) are
excluded because A is an official person and has to
keep himself in check.
Let us consider the following example where a
sales clerk A is calling to the chairperson B of a
furniture salon. A starts collaborative and polite
interaction (values +1) and fixes values 0 for other
coordinates of the communicative space. The partner
B in her turn determines her initial communication
point. Similarly with A, she also starts collaborative
and polite interaction but differently, she chooses the
values +1 for cooperation and modality as indicated
by the comment ((kindly and friendly)) in the
following transcript:
A: õhtust.
Good aftenoon.
palun Liisi ´Harvsõlg.
I would like to speak with Liisi Harvsõlg.
B: jaa=ma ´kuulen.
Yes, I’m listening.
((kindly and friendly))
A continues in the same communication point:
A: .hhh ee minu nimi on ´Maanus ´Kriisa
ja elistan ´Tiritamm < ´Eestist. >
My name is Maanus Kriisa and I’m calling from Tiritamm
.hh kas > ´Tiritamme=nimi < on teile
Are you acquainted with Tiritamm?
By replying, B suddenly jumps to another
communication point changing the values of social
distance, cooperation and modality (new values -1)
as indicated by the comment ((unfriendly)):
B: ei ausalt=öelda ´küll ei=ole.
No, truly.
After that A, keeping the chosen communication
point and communicative tactics, introduces his
company, describes its activities and then
(indirectly) proposes a training course which deals
with relations between servicemen and clients and
should be useful for B:
A: et=ee (.) .hh nimelt Tiritamme
tegeleb sis ´kliendi´suhete ee ütleme
´inimeste: ´arendamisega
´kliendi´suhete > ´valdkonnas=se
tähendab sis < < ´teeninduse ´müügi >
.h ´turunduse=ja=´juhtimise
Tiritamm is considering relations with clients and
education of people in service and sale.
(.) .hh ja: minu ´küsimus oligi see=et
kas te peate: vajalikuks just ´nendes
´valdkondades ´inimeste ´arendamist=
Is it important for you to educate your people in these
B does not shorten the social distance nor
decrease antagonism. She presents a lot of
B: [{-} kuulge] eeq ´te=olete=küll ´nii
vähe ´valesse kohta sattund.
meil on ´kolm inimest ´tööl.
Look here! You are ever calling into a wrong place. We
have only three employees.
.hhh põhjus on lihtsalt selles et minu
mõlemad müüja=konsultandid nad ´väga
hästi haritud.
The reason is simply that both my sellers-consultants are
educated very well.
$ mul on ´topelt ´kõrgharidus. $
I myself have double higher education.
A explains why the course is useful for B:
A: /---/ hh aga kui on teil ütleme
eksklu´ssiivne ´toode ta=on (.) ilmselt
´inglise ´mööbel ta on=nagu te
´ütlesite ´ka (.) väg- väga
So you have an exclusive product, obviously English
furniture, it is very expensive as you said.
.hh et=ee sis on seal ilmselt ´oluline
ka see ´väga:q ee ´hea ´teeninduse
´tase mis teil [ka ilmselt] ´on.
Then a very high level of service is necessary, what you
obviously have.
.hhh et ´tehakse sisuliselt
presentatsi´oo[ne kus siis=ee
Thus, you do presentations.
B: [´just ´nimelt.]
A: .hhhh ?jaa?jaa.
´välja: ee kuidas siis=õõ ´läbi [viia
Tiritamm also offers a course how to do presentations.
B gives more counterarguments and refuses to
take the course:
A: /---/ nii=et=te ei pea ´vajalikuks
inimeste ´arendamist nendes
Then you believe that education of people is not necessary
in these fields.
B: [tändap=ee] ma ´kordan me saame ´ise
selle teemaga ´hakkama.
I tell once more, we can make it ourselves.
In this dispute, A fails to achieve his
communicative goal (he loses). He does not change
the communication point and communicative tactics
chosen by him at the beginning of conversation. B
has changed her communication point directly after
the first turn. She also keeps her new communication
point and the communicative tactics during
conversation. The participants do not reach an
agreement. Still, at the end of conversation, A offers
to B to send a catalogue with a list of training
courses offered by his educational company. B is not
against. In this way, A can hope that it will be
possible for him to win a dispute with B in the
The corpus analysis demonstrates that the model
introduced in section 2 can be used for description of
actual human-human disputes. We can consider
communicative strategies implemented by
participants for achieving their communicative
goals. We can also see how the features of
communication are changing during interaction, i.e.
how the participants are behaving in communicative
A question arises how to recognise
communication points automatically? Assuming that
transcripts of spoken dialogues are available, we can
analyse comments (in our used transcription system,
in double parentheses) as demonstrated by the
examples of the previous section, e.g. ((unfriendly)).
Another way is to extract information from the
header of a transcript. Each transcript in our corpus
is provided with a header that lists situational
factors, among them relations between participants
(strangers/ acquaintances/ intimates), status (equal/
lower/ higher), gender, age, etc. (Hennoste et al.,
2008). But when modelling debate on the computer
and aiming to recognise a communication point
where the user stands, the computer could extract
opinions and emotions expressed by user utterances.
In the case of spoken interaction, the features of
speech can be used in addition. Still, automatic
recognition of coordinates of communicative space
remains for the further work.
The most important phase of a telemarketing call
is a clerk’s argumentation for taking a training
course. Arguments of sales clerks are presented as
assertions and customers can accept or reject them.
In our analysed dialogues, the customers typically
accept the assertions of clerks – it shows that the
clerks succeed to choose the ‘right’ arguments (Koit,
2014). Still, B’s accept is usually followed by a
counterargument. The argumentation chain looks
A: argument
B: accept
+ counterargument
A: argument
B: accept
+ counterargument
The situation is different when B is driving to a
negative decision (as in the example analysed in the
previous section). In this case, B does not accept A’s
arguments and takes the initiative starting to present
assertions/counterarguments herself. A always
accepts B’s assertions but he still provides his
arguments as additional information. The
argumentation chain looks like
A: argument
B: reject
+ counterargument
A: accept
+ argument
B: reject
A: accept
+ argument
B: reject
Therefore, we can see that the general structure
of actual dialogues corresponds to the model of
dispute presented in section 2.
What can we learn from the analysis of human-
human disputes for implementation of dispute on the
computer? A good way seems to follow the sales
clerks’ strategies: take and hold the initiative and
propose ’obvious’ arguments for the requested
action – the statements that do not provoke the
partner’s rejection but accept. In order to have such
arguments at disposal, it is necessary to know as
possible more about the partner in relation to the
requested action. That is the reason why explanation
of the customer’s needs is a necessary phase in our
analysed telemarketing calls. Still, both a sales clerk
and a customer are restricted when communicating
because both they are official persons who represent
their institutions and therefore, have to play certain
roles. A sales clerk who is interested in selling
training courses has to keep a fixed communication
point and a fixed strategy. A customer has more
freedom: she may defend her negative decision or
also attack the clerk’s proposal. She may vary her
features of communication, e.g. change the intensity
from peaceful to vehement or go over to
confrontation instead of collaboration.
Our dialogue corpus does not yet contain more
different kinds of disputes although it would be
interesting to look for communicative strategies
expressed e.g. in quarrels and to study how the
participants are moving in the communicative space
when having a quarrel. Still, the scenario where the
computer plays the role of an official person who
behaves cooperatively, politely, friendly, etc. is
more realistic for implementation.
We study dialogues in a natural language where one
participant (initiator of interaction, A) has a
communicative goal that the partner (B) will decide
to do an action D. If B’s communicative goal is
opposite (“do not do D”) then the participants are
involved into dispute. When reasoning about doing
D, B considers different positive and negative
aspects of D. If the positive aspects weigh more than
negative then the decision will be “do D”. On the
contrary, if the negative aspects weigh more the
decision will be “do not do D”. Initiator A chooses a
suitable communicative strategy in order to
influence B’s reasoning and achieve the positive
decision: he stresses positive and downgrades
negative aspects of doing D. Different arguments for
doing D are presented in a systematic way, e.g. A
stresses time and again usefulness of D. Still, if B
takes over the initiative then A can also act
passively, only averting the (counter)arguments
presented by B and not stressing any positive aspect
of the action.
When interacting, the participants are moving in
communicative space which can be characterized by
a number of features (coordinates) such as social
distance between the partners (far between
adversaries, near between friends), intensity of
communication (peaceful, vehement), etc. We
represent values of the coordinates as -1, 0 or +1.
We analyse human-human telemarketing calls
where a sales clerk of an educational company
proposes training courses to a customer who
typically does not want to buy any course. When
starting dispute, the sales clerk determines an initial
point in communicative space and a certain way to
realize the communicative strategy (tactics) and
retains them during a dialogue. The customer can
change her strategy and also move from one
communication point to another during
We have implemented the model of dispute as a
computer program where the computer plays A’s and
the user B’s role. So far, the implementation does
not include the formalisation of communicative
space. This remains for the further work.
This work was supported by the European Regional
Development Fund through the Estonian Centre of
Excellence in Computer Science (EXCS), and the
Estonian Research Council (projects IUT-2056,
ETF9124, and ETF8558).
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